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He served nine years as Oldham County Judge-Executive, eight years as La Grange mayor and he’s been David Voegele’s brother-in-law more than 35 years.
Voegele announced recently he’s selected La Grange resident John Black to serve as deputy judge-executive when Voegele takes office in January.
“I know nepotism will be talked about,” Voegele said. “I didn’t select John because he’s my brother-in-law, I did it because I felt he was the most qualified person available for the position.”
The appointment of deputy judge-executive does not require approval of fiscal court, Voegele said.
Black, a Democrat, said he originally had no intention of serving as deputy judge.
Most recently, Black ran for state senate, and was defeated by incumbent Sen. Ernie Harris.
Black is also a former mayor and city council member of La Grange. He served as Oldham County Judge-Executive from 1993 to 2002, and members of Oldham County Fiscal Court later named the county’s community center and swimming pool in his honor.
Many have speculated that Black’s local government experience would help him snag a spot in Voegele’s administration.
His extensive service to the community is what makes him best for the job, Voegele said. The fact that he served as county judge for nine years in addition to his time in city government, he said he knows Black has the county’s best interests at heart.
Black said he’s enjoyed being part of county government and public service and says he’s kind of relieved he won’t be in the top position in county government again.
“I’ve been the elected person before and the person to lead,” he said, “but I’m certainly ready to assume what I know the position of deputy judge to be.”
He said he feels like he can still do good things for the county in his new role and believes his relationships at the city, county and state level are something Voegele sees as a benefit to the new administration.
Black currently drives a bus for Oldham County Schools, a job he says he will miss.
But he’s also ready to serve in any way he can. He likes county government, he said, because it’s the part that’s closest to the people.
“By doing the things I’ve tried to do to make the community better over the years,” he said, “hopefully people appreciate those who have an interest in local government.”
Voegele said Black will earn the minimum salary allowed for a deputy-judge executive – $55,218 annually, or $20,000 less than the current deputy’s salary.
He said that while he doesn’t think there will be changes in the position, it’s a vital one to county government. However, he said, he understands that taxpayers are concerned about the cost of government and he plans to try and cut back anywhere possible.
Voegele said he plans to make salary decisions based on what’s best for the county.
He recently announced his selections for director of public safety and planning director and said those individuals will earn less than those who served in the past.
“I said I’d watch taxpayer money,” he said. “And that’s what we’re doing. County government is going to be as lean as I can make it while being practical and efficient.”
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